Motorcyclist killed in crash at Gravel Hill ‘was more than twice over legal alcohol limit’ (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Motorcyclist Michael Birt, who was killed in crash at Gravel Hill, was more than twice over legal alcohol limit, inquest hears
A MOTORCYCLIST killed in a morning rush hour crash had an alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, an inquest heard.
Michael Birt’s blood alcohol level was at a “level consistent with drunkenness” prompting Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne, pictured inset, to warn others about its effects.
“There is a reason for the drink drive limit and that is even more relevant when people are riding motorcycles,” he said. “It can lead to impaired concentration, impaired response and balance problems.”
Accident investigator PC Andrew Gold told the Bournemouth inquest: “The effects of such levels of alcohol would have had a detrimental effect on the rider’s ability to perform the task of riding.”
The inquest heard how the 41-year-old father-of-three was overtaking a line of traffic on his Yamaha 125 motorbike when he clipped a van before veering across the road into the path of an oncoming 26-tonne beer lorry.
The head-on collision led to his crash helmet flying off and he died shortly afterwards.
Witness Matthew Northam told Mr Payne: “I remember thinking there was not enough room for the bike to overtake there.” Another witness, David Clark, said he did not believe the rider’s actions were safe.
The collision happened at 7.45am on Tuesday, October 22 at Gravel Hill, at its junction with Queen Anne Drive in Poole. Mr Birt, of Denmark Road, Poole, a delivery driver, was on his way to work when the accident took place.
His widow, Suzanne, said her husband had been drinking on the afternoon of Sunday October 20 and had had “a couple of glasses” of wine the night before the crash.
Tests revealed he had a blood alcohol level of 160 – the legal limit for driving is 80 – and he died of internal injuries due to blunt trauma. A pathologist said: “The level of alcohol detected is consistent with intoxication and would be consistent with drunkenness.”
Mr Payne recorded a verdict that he died as a result of a collision on the road.
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